Thirty-five years ago this fall, St. Andrew’s won its first-ever conference championship as the 1982 co-ed soccer team brought home the first of many banners.
The self-proclaimed “new guys” upended a number of formidable foes with deep soccer legacies to take home the title.
The team will be inducted into the St. Andrew’s Athletics Hall of Fame on October 14 as part of Reunion Weekend. The second class of Hall of Fame honorees, which include two athletes, a team, and a teacher/coach, will be recognized during a ceremony on Holden Court.
It was only the team’s second year practicing on the field at the Bradmoor Campus, and it was the first season for Coach Gabe Hodziewich. Co-ed teams were common in the early years of the Potomac Valley Athletic Conference and St. Andrew’s was no exception, with 14 boys and one girl.
Tom Graves ‘83, a defender on the 1982 team, said he was proud to be on an athletic team that had strong camaraderie, even though it didn’t rank high in the school’s early years.
“We always felt like we were kind of the underdog as a new school. We knew people from other private schools who had deep rosters—we did not,” Graves said. “No one expected us to do so well, but we did.”
That fall, the team won 11 matches, losing only to Sidwell Friends (2-1), St. James (3-1) and Queen Anne (3-2). The team won some matches overwhelmingly—11-0 over Georgetown Day, 7-0 over Edmund Burke—but came through by the skin of their teeth to beat Pallotti (3-2), Model Secondary School (2-1) and Harker Prep (2-1).
“It’s just very gratifying to be thought of as part of a team of kids who did all the work and achieved those things,” Hodziewich said. “Here’s a little school having all this wonderful success against bigger schools—that was very meaningful, to be able to go through that.”
The PVAC regular season title match on Nov. 2, 1982 pitted St. Andrew’s against Queen Anne School.
St. Andrew’s was undefeated in the PVAC with a 9-0 record leading up to the match. In St. Andrew's An Oral History of the First 30 Years, Hodziewich recalled that critical contest and said the team won the championship “on Lansing Freeman’s foot.”
“The season came down to one game. Queen Anne was ranked in the state of Maryland. We were not. They came over to play us at St. Andrew’s; Lansing Freeman put in two free kicks and we won 2-1,” he said. “That was the very first banner the school won. Lansing Freeman was the hero of the day.”
Freeman ‘85, however, credits Hodziewich with developing a team that was capable of taking home a banner.
“Gabe was able to take a number of different and strong personalities and mold them into a successful organization,” Freeman said. “That delivered, I think, St. Andrew’s first championship.”
In a post-game interview with The Washington Post
, Queen Anne Coach Stew Brynn summed up the skill and prowess of St. Andrew’s “underdog” team. “If we could have stopped those set shots, we’d have been okay,” Brynn said. “We got out of our game plan the last 10 minutes, and that was the difference.”
Team members included David Bowen ‘84, Andrew Dickie ‘86, Tom Graves ‘83, Scot Aubinoe ‘83, Aimee Causey ‘84, Chip Prettyman ‘84, Hank Lewis-Page ‘85, Jerry Thompson ‘86, Lansing Freeman ‘85, Eric Thompson ‘83, Donnie Gross ‘86, Quentin Lide ‘85, Scott Simpson ‘83, Steve Bensinger ‘85, and Chris Reed ‘84. The coaches were Gabe Hodziewich, Daryl Looney, and Seth Berg.